EpigenCare's CEO and co-founder, William Lee, presented at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (JLABS) open innovation ecosystem in South San Francisco, CA. The presentation included information on the forefront of science and technology -- epigenetics, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. Lee emphasized the problem of consumers not knowing whether a skincare product is truly working for them, and that static genetic variants in current personal genomic tests cannot be altered by product ingredients. The presentation introduced a solution via epigenetics, which can determine the active or inactive state of a gene's function.
The New York-based company will be releasing a direct-to-consumer skincare test later this year that can capture the current state of one's skin profile by sequencing for epigenetic markers. These markers are correlated with quality indicators such as aging, elasticity, moisture, pigmentation, and more. EpigenCare's complementary digital platform subsequently connects products from skincare companies to consumers on a personalized basis through a matching algorithm, based on the ingredient's epigenetic intervention on the tested markers and their functional pathways.
Dr. Lee will be a featured speaker at Happi's Anti-Aging Conference on May 15 at Javits Center. His topic is”Addressing the Rise of Personalized Skin Care and Its Perceived Invasiveness Through New Digital Technologies.” To register for the conference, click here.
In order to ensure consumer privacy, blockchain technology will be deployed to manage data in a responsible manner. Consumers will be able to track that their data was used for their own benefit. This will drastically mitigate the perceived intrusiveness often associated with personal tests involving DNA, which consumers will self-collect directly on their own skin through a non-invasive adhesive method.
EpigenCare also plans to implement machine learning with its epigenetic data, which serves as a scientifically grounded training source, to be combined with photo imaging of skin for an artificial intelligence based personalization method.
"I am grateful for the opportunity that we have been provided," said Lee. "It is clear that Johnson & Johnson Innovation actively supports new technologies through its open innovation model. We intend to use this victory to continue our momentum in realizing a truly personalized skincare solution."
The QuickFire Challenge awarded up to $50,000 in grants, access to a network of experts and mentorship, residency for up to one year at a JLABS location, with admission to test the product with consumers at the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Experience Center (CxC). EpigenCare was one of two winners that split the prize.
EpigenCare Inc. is a privately held personal epigenomics and digital biotechnology company based in New York. The company offers a direct-to-consumer epigenetics test to assess the dynamic state of one's skin type and quality. Subsequently, capture of the dynamic quality allows for actionable results from the analysis report such that optimized product options are recommended to the consumer. EpigenCare's epigenetic technology is supported by EpiGentek Group Inc. B